Asia Pacific Media Educator


McGregor, Peter (1998)
Cultural Battles: The Meaning of the Viet Nam - USA War.
SCAM Publications, Melbourne. ISBN 0-9585549-0-0

Reviewed by Richard Phillipps

Peter McGregor's collection of essays on the Viet Nam - USA War (1955-75) and its aftermath is enlightening and moving. It is also annoying and repetitive as one's assumptions about the conflict are continually challenged. Why USA War, you ask? Wasn't Australia there too? Yes,it was, but only as a junior partner. The death toll tells part of the story: about 500 Australians killed, 58,000 Americans, but Vietnamese north and south, civilian and military, somewhere between 1.5 million and 3 million. Why Viet Nam? Because that's the way the locals spell it.